What does the future hold for the ME cloud?

Red Hat provides insight on the shape of the 2013 ME cloud

Tags: Cloud computingRed Hat MEUnited Arab Emirates
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What does the future hold for the ME cloud? George DeBono, general manager of Red Hat, Middle East and Africa.
By  George DeBono Published  December 9, 2012

Market analysts from leading agencies such as Gartner and IDC have estimated an exponential growth of the cloud market with predictions estimating it to reach a value of $72.9bn by 2015.

Companies in the Middle East are increasingly venturing into the ‘cloud’ to boost revenues, reduce costs and operational complexities and store valuable business data online. As we reach the end of 2012 and head into the next year, George DeBono, general manager of Red Hat, Middle East and Africa, makes some predictions on what Middle East enterprises can expect in the cloud computing space in 2013:


Security becomes more consumable

If you pay any attention whatsoever to tech press coverage and IT industry analyst reports, you know that security concerns about “the cloud” (however that term is being used at the moment) consistently top the list of adoption concerns. Even if naïve cloud safe/unsafe arguments have mostly been retired in favor of more subtle discussions, there's still a lot of complexity and uncertainty.

 The IT industry is often dealing with new approaches to computing and delivering application services that don't have clear historical antecedents and established approaches to mitigating associated risk. As a result, dealing with security and associated concerns in the cloud sometimes seem to require true experts in the field, who are almost by definition in fairly short supply.

Organizations like the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) are making concerted efforts to promote the use of best practices for providing security assurance within cloud computing, and to provide education on the uses of cloud computing to help secure additional forms of computing. While the CSA's work benefits everyone, its most important role may be “democratizing” the process of securing and running clouds so that organizations operating and using clouds don't need security rocket scientists on hand. Expect to see tools for more easily and systematically securing clouds gain more attention in 2013.


But data security and privacy remain vexing, and increasingly high-profile, issues

At one level, protecting against data breaches in the datacenter is a fairly straightforward security problem without many new wrinkles relative to the practices that IT professionals have been following for decades. However, in many respects, we are in a place that's different in kind from times past.

Some of this difference is about connectedness and scale. While security models have been shifting from walled perimeters to defense-in-depth since the early days of the web and e-commerce, cloud-based applications made up of composable services from multiple sources vastly increase potential attack surfaces. It's a vastly more complicated security problem than setting the ports correctly on a firewall.

Expect the overall data security and privacy situation to get worse before it gets better.


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